Apple farms, antique markets, afternoon tea, hot chocolate, and hiking: 5 whimsical ways to welcome Fall

By Ali Maldoff
1. Chill at Chudleigh’s Apple Farm
Start the season off right with a good, old-fashioned apple overload. Hop on the tractor ride through the orchards for a taste of your childhood and pick your way to happiness from among the different apple varieties grown on the farm. Stop by the petting zoo if you dare, take cheesy photos in the hay stacks, or grab a bbq’d husk of corn on the cob. Do not leave without sampling the delicious and iconic Chudleigh’s Apple Blossom – take 1 or 12 home for your freezer.
8501 Chudleigh Way, Milton, Ontario. Open every day 10am – 5pm. Adult admission $7.

2. Browse the Aberfoyle Antique Market
The antiques may have been around forever, but the market sure won’t be. Open on Sundays until October 31st, this market (just south-east of Guelph) has old-world trinkets to match the old-world charm. Wander the dizzying display of antiques and collectibles to the tune of country guitar songs, and chat up the merchants (most of whom have been at it for 20-plus years). Hipsters will delight in the stall of retro telephones. Don’t forget a weather check before heading out as the market is completely outdoors.
57 Brock Rd. S, Guelph, Ontario. Open Sundays 8am – 4pm. Nominal admission fee ($1-$2).

3. Sip at The Old Curiosity Tea Shop
Looking to be transported back in (tea) time to the Victorian era? Well look no further than The Old Curiosity Tea Shop in Markham. Round up your mom, your grandma, or your favourite ladies for an authentic tea party experience – this ain’t high tea at the Four Seasons, it’s more like visiting your eccentric British aunt in her floral motif flat. The charming staff will advise you on an extensive list of loose leaf teas, including suggestions on how to take it and how long it should steep. Enjoy your chosen blend in Royal Doulton fine china (what else?) and munch on traditional cucumber sandwiches and lovely sweets – all homemade in the little back kitchen.
91 Main St. N, Markham, Ontario. Closed Sunday and Monday.

4. Hold a Hot Chocolate Picnic at the Toronto Beaches
Grab a few friends and a few orders of scrumptious hot chocolate at Toronto’s top-rated Mercury Espresso Bar and head on over to either Ashbridge’s Bay Park or Beaches Park with a blanket, a Frisbee and plenty of cozy clothes. Take in the sandy surroundings and bask in the remaining few days of snow-free beaches. If you’re feeling frisky, head west on Lakeshore Blvd and hop a ferry to the Toronto Islands for a gorgeous view of our fair city’s skyline.
Mercury Espresso Bar, 915 Queen St. E

5. Hike the Escarpment
British Columbians aren’t the only ones who can hop out of town for an invigorating hike. West of the city (off the 401 near Milton) lies a beautiful slice of the extraordinary Bruce Trail. With several walking/hiking paths overlooking a glorious valley of trees, you are sure to feel far away from the downtown construction and traffic combo. Tip: wait until the leaves have changed for a really fantastic view!
Visit http://brucetrail.org for trail entrance points and parking info.


  1. Factorbot
    September 15, 2010

    I love all of these ideas. Question about the Aberfoyle Antique Market: is the stuff cheap? It sounds like one of those small-town antique markets where you can get awesome stuff for a fifth of the price of what you would pay in Toronto (or less), but just wanted to make sure I wouldn’t be paying “antique” prices.

  2. Sanjit Ranpujaahar
    September 15, 2010

    I went to Chudleigh’s last year with my boyfriend and his car got stuck in the parking lot. It was a rear wheel drive Porsche boxter which is usually fine but there is a ton of mud in the lot. Any idea if there is a bus to the orchard from Markham?

  3. Stoof
    September 15, 2010

    Who knew there were so many fun and exciting things to do in Toronto!? Thanks for all the fab suggestions.

  4. Ali Maldoff
    September 16, 2010

    Funny you should say that, my husband actually got his car completely covered in mud last year in the parking lot – he was not pleased. There are no shuttle buses to and from the farm, but there are bus tours you can get on that include lunch and vip tour of the orchard (this option is of course more expensive). My suggestion would be to rope in a friend with a truck or an SUV, that’s what we’ll be doing this year!

  5. Ali Maldoff
    September 16, 2010

    The Aberfoyle has tons of items at every price point. Things are definitely reasonably priced, and most everything is negotiable. This is a quaint country market, not a snooty downtown antique dealer. That being said, there is a lot of junk to comb through but it’s definitely worth the trip!

  6. Anonymous
    September 16, 2010

    Get out- My mom locked her keys in the car in the Chudleigh’s parking lot when i was a kid! Cursed!!

  7. Laurie Clark
    September 16, 2010

    All the suggestions for things to do in Fall were so interesting especially the market.
    The writer really made me feel like putting my coat on and running right out to one of these venues! Thanks

  8. Ali Maldoff
    October 26, 2010

    Thanks, Mom!

  9. Anonymous
    April 21, 2011

    I think this board is the proper place to ask you about the activation proccess. My link is not working properly, do you know why it is happening? http://www.shedoesthecity.com/?f1dfc6613f2603850216bd9fa66,

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